Vehicle Taxes & Fees

Fairfax County, Virginia

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703-222-8234
TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 223
Fairfax, VA 22035

Young Tarry,
Division Director

Vehicle Taxes - Frequently Asked Questions

Image of Question Marks

 

Registering Your Vehicle

How do I register my vehicle for the Vehicle (“Car") Tax?

You may register for the Vehicle Tax in several ways:

When do I need to register my vehicle with the Virginia DMV? (Special Rule for out-of-state cabs)

Most vehicles have to be registered with the Virginia DMV within 30 days of purchase or establishing residency in Virginia. Contact the Virginia DMV for more information.

Note, special rules apply to out-of-state cabs driven for personal use in Virginia, but displaying out-of-state plates. For example, a vehicle may be used as a cab in DC and display DC license plates. If however, when not in service, the vehicle is normally garaged at a Virginia residence and used in Virginia for personal use, that vehicle is subject to the county's personal property tax and is required to display dual license plates (i.e., it must display plates from both DC and Virginia at the same time). Personal use vehicles may be eligible for the Personal Property Tax Relief Act (PPTRA).

When do I need to register my vehicle with Fairfax County?

Vehicles must be registered with the Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration (DTA) within 60 days of purchase or move-in to the county and are subject to the vehicle Tax. This is a separate and additional requirement from the Virginia DMV registration. A late filing penalty will be assessed on vehicles that are not registered within the 60-day deadline.

Do I need to register a leased vehicle with Fairfax County?

Yes, you must register within 60 days of lease or move-in to the County.

For more information regarding lease vehicle registration with Fairfax County, contact your leasing company.

Vehicle Assessments

How are vehicles assessed?

The state requires that the value be from a recognized pricing guide, applied uniformly, and as of January 1 of the tax year. To meet these requirements, Fairfax County uses the January edition of the J.D. Power’s Official Used Car Guide. For more information regarding vehicle assessments, please refer to our Vehicle Value page.

Under what conditions may an assessment be appealed?

You may appeal the assessment of your vehicle if you believe it has one or more of the following conditions:

  • Body damage
  • Rusting
  • Excessive mileage

Adjustments in value are most frequently made based on these conditional factors.

How do I appeal my assessment?

Submit a vehicle tax appeal form along with the required documentation. Please refer to the vehicle appeal page.

My assessment goes down every year. Why is it going up this year?

Normally, a vehicle's value decreases every year as it ages--but the pandemic has driven up values for several reasons:

  • Automakers are building fewer cars because of global shortages in critical auto parts like microchips; yet the demand for new cars is spiking. The low supply and high demand have caused values to rise.
  • Used cars have gone up in value because fewer people are selling their older cars.
  • Low interest rates are also helping to fuel car purchases, but more buyers for fewer available cars means higher prices.

Personal Property Tax

How is my property tax calculated?

In general, vehicle taxes are calculated by multiplying the value by the appropriate tax rate. Personal use vehicles are also eligible for a vehicle tax subsidy provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Business vehicles are not eligible for the vehicle tax subsidy. 

Use our vehicle value tax calculator to estimate your taxes for the year or refer to examples below.

For Tax Year 2022 ONLY, all vehicle values have been reduced by 15% from value listed in the January edition of the J.D. Power Associates Valuation Services Used Car Guide. The reduction will occur automatically. The already-reduced value will be shown on the bill.

 

Example for a Personal Use Vehicle Valued at $20,000 or less in Tax Year 2022

Full vehicle value per value guide   $10,000
Less 15% value reduction $10,000 x 0.15
= $1,500
-$1,500
Reduced Value reflected on bill for Tax Year 2022 ONLY $10,000 - $1,500
= $8,500
$8,500

 

Apply the tax rate ($4.57 per $100 value) to get total annual tax for the vehicle $8,500 x ($4.57 / 100)
= $388.45
$388.45
Calculate the personal property tax relief amount (49.5% in 2022) $388.45 x 0.495
= $192.28
-$192.28
Reduce the total annual tax by the relief amount $388.45 - $192.28
= $196.17
$196.17
Annual tax amount to be paid by vehicle owner   $196.17

 

Example for a Personal Use Vehicle Valued at $20,000 or more in Tax Year 2022

Full vehicle value per value guide   $30,000
Less 15% value reduction $30,000 x 0.15
= $4,500
-$4,500
Reduced Value reflected on bill for Tax Year 2022 ONLY $30,000 - $4,500
= $25,500
$25,500

 

Apply the tax rate ($4.57 per $100 value) to get total annual tax for the vehicle $25,500 x ($4.57 / 100)
= $1,165.35
$1,165.35
Calculate the personal property tax relief amount (49.5% in 2022) for the first $20,000 of value $20,000 x ($4.57 / 100) x 0.495
= $452.43
-$452.43
Reduce the total annual tax by the relief amount $1,165.35 - $452.43
= $712.92
$712.92
Annual tax amount to be paid by vehicle owner   $712.92

 

Example for a Business Use Vehicle (regardless of value) in Tax Year 2022

Full vehicle value per value guide   $30,000
Less 15% value reduction $30,000 x 0.15
= $4,500
-$4,500
Reduced Value reflected on bill for Tax Year 2022 ONLY $30,000 - $4,500
= $25,500
$25,500

 

Apply the tax rate ($4.57 per $100 value) to get total annual tax for the vehicle $25,500 x ($4.57 / 100)
= $1,165.35
$1,165.35
Annual tax amount to be paid by vehicle owner   $1,165.35

Do I need to buy a windshield decal if I live in one of the towns?

No. There is no longer any local registration decal to purchase or display; however, all town residents (Herndon, Clifton, and Vienna) are still liable to pay each town's annual Local Vehicle Registration Fee. Fairfax County collects the local registration fee on behalf of the towns of Clifton, Herndon, and Vienna.

Are there exceptions to the tax rate?

There are vehicles considered for tax rate exceptions. The following are currently taxed at a rate of one cent per $100:

  • Antique vehicles with antique or permanent vintage license plates
  • Certified van pool vehicles
  • Vehicles equipped for the transportation of persons with disabilities
  • Some vehicles owned by members of volunteer fire and rescue squads and auxiliary police
  • Vehicles owned by certain elderly and disabled individuals
  • Aircraft and flight simulators
  • Homeowner association furniture, office and maintenance equipment
  • Mobile homes are taxed at the real estate tax rate

When are Vehicle ("car") Tax payments due?

The majority of Vehicle ("Car") Tax bills are mailed in the summer and are due by October 5.

For vehicles bought or located in the county on or after July 1, bills are mailed in January of the following year and payment is due by February 15.

If a payment date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or county holiday, the due date is the following business day.

See our Tax Payments pages for more information on how you can pay your taxes.

Personal Property Tax Bill

To whom do I make the check payable?

Checks or money orders should be made payable to "County of Fairfax."

For more information on making a payment, see our Payment options page.

What if I don't receive my tax bill or forms in the mail?

Vehicle Moved out of Fairfax County

What should I do If I have sold my vehicle or moved my vehicle out of Fairfax County?

If I have sold or move my vehicle out of Fairfax County, will my vehicle tax be prorated?

In Fairfax County, the vehicle tax on motor vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, and vans) is prorated to reflect the time the vehicle was normally garaged in the county. Upon notification that a property has been moved or sold, the DTA will adjust your account to ensure that your motor vehicle is taxed accurately.

Vehicles which are moved out of Fairfax County to a non-prorating Virginia jurisdiction during the tax year are not prorated.

What if my car is registered in another state and displays out-of-state license plates?

Your car must still be registered with Fairfax County within 60 days of purchase or move-in. It is subject to taxation by the Virginia locality in which it is normally garaged or parked.

If the vehicle is improperly displaying out-of-state plates beyond the 30-day registration requirement of state law, the vehicle is also subject to the county’s non-proratable $100 out-of-state plates tax and a penalty of $250 assessed annually.

Delinquent Taxes

How do I purchase property at public auction for delinquent taxes?

DTA may also sell vehicles and certain business equipment at public auction for the collection of delinquent taxes. If you have questions or would like to be added to a potential bidders list for personal property public auctions, please send your contact information to DTA's Revenue Collection Division. Vehicles and equipment currently scheduled for Public Auction.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant